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Jewish Holidays

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MileChai --> Judaica --> Judaism --> Passover
Passover comes from the Bible, first mentioned in the book of Exodus. As God pronounced to the people of Israel enslaved in Egypt that he would free them, he said he would "Smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt." However, he instructed the Israelites to put a sign of lamb's blood on their door posts: "and when I see the blood, I will pass over you." (Exodus 12)

also see: Jewish Holidays - Names of Jewish Months


The Roasted Egg is symbolic of the festival sacrifice made in biblical times. On Passover, an additional sacrifice (the Paschal lamb) was offered as well. The egg is also a traditional symbol of mourning, and has been interpreted by some as a symbolic mourning for the loss of the Temple. Since the destruction of the Temple in the year 70 C.E., neither the festival sacrifice nor the special passover sacrifice could be offered. It is also a symbol of spring - the season in which Passover is always celebrated. In many households, it is customary to use a brown egg on the seder plate. The egg should be baked or roasted if possible.

also see:

Haggadah How to prepare for Passover
What is Matzah How To Prepare a Passover Seder Plate
A Passover Thought What is a Passover Seder?
Passover Cookbooks Kosher Wine for Passover
What is a Haggadah? Bedikat Chametz Kits


Apple, nuts, and spices ground together and mixed with wine are symbolic of the mortar used by Hebrew slaves to build Egyptian structures. There are several variations in the recipe for charoset. The Mishna describes a mixture of fruits, nuts, and vinegar, for example. In order to enhance the symbolism of mortar, it is customary in some communities to mix in a small amount of sand. The charoset is sweet because sweetness is symbolic of God's kindness, which was able to make even slavery more bearable. According to legend, the use of apples in charoset stems from Pharaoh's decree that all male Hebrew children were to be killed at birth. Mothers would go out to the orchards to give birth, and thus save their babies (at least temporarily) from the Egyptian soldiers.


Bitter Vegetable (often lettuce)  is often used in addition to the maror as a bitter herb. The authorities are divided on the requirement of chazeret, so not all communities use it. Since the commandment (in Numbers 9:11) to eat the paschal lamb "with unleavened bread and bitter herbs" uses the plural ("bitter herbs") most seder plates have a place for chazeret. Some use a green vegetable (such as lettuce - as long as lettuce is not also used for karpas), some use the green top of a bitter herb, while some use a second bitter (such as raddish) for the chazeret.


Vegetable (usually parsley) is dipped into salt water during the seder. The salt water represents the tears shed during Egyptian slavery. The dipping of a vegetable as an appetizer is said to date back to biblical times. It may now be identified with biblical descritpion of the Hebrew slaves marking their doorposts at the time of the first Passover. A bunch of hyssop was to be dipped in the blood of the paschal lamb and used to strike the lintel and the doorposts (Exodus 12:22) so that the tenth plague (death of the firstborn) would not be visited upon their households.


Bitter Herbs (usually horseradish) symbolize the bitterness of Egyptian slavery. The maror is often dipped in charoset to reduce its sharpness. Maror is used in the seder because of the commandment (in Numbers 9:11) to eat the paschal lamb "with unleavened bread and bitter herbs." Some prefer mild horseradish at the seder; others say that it doesn't serve its purpose (to remind us of the bitterness of slavery) unless it's hot enough to bring tears to the eyes.


Hebrew for the festival of Passover. The word pesach comes from a Hebrew root meaning "pass by" or "to spare." While the word "Pesach" appears in Hebrew on most seder plates, it is merely decorative. The word also refers to the Pesach (or Paschal) lamb which was sacrificed as a special offering in honor of the festival. The zeroa (shankbone) has its own place on the seder plate as a symbol of this sacrifice


The Shankbone is symbolic of the Paschal lamb offered as the Passover sacrifice in biblical times. In some communities, it is common to use a chicken neck in place of the shankbone. Vegetarian households often use beets for the shankbone on the seder plate. The red beets symbolize the blood of the Paschal lamb, which was used to mark the lintel and doorposts of the houses during the first Passover (Exodus 12:22)

Tips on how to prepare a Seder Plate

Jewish Year

Secular Calendar Starting after sunset Ending before sunset

5771 Passover in 2011 Will Star on Tuesday, the 19th of April and will continue for 7 days until Monday, the 25th of April.
5772 Passover in 2014will start on Saturday, the 7th of April and will continue for 7 days until Friday, the 13th of April.
5773 Passover in 2014will start on Tuesday, the 26th of March and will continue for 7 days until Monday, the 1st of April.
5774 Passover in 2014 will start on Tuesday, the 15th of April and will continue for 7 days until Monday, the 21st of April.

What is Chometz?

Chometz is any food and drink made from wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt or their derivatives which is forbidden on Passover because it is leavened or fermented. If a food contains any of these intergradient and is not certified as "kosher for Passover", it's considered chometz. If a food contains even a trace of chometz, we don't eat it, we don't sell it and we make sure not to have any of it in our possession all the days of Passover.  [Note: Matzah used all year-round is not for Passover use].  Only matzah bake especially for Passover may be sued on Passover.]

Cleaning for Passover

Take all the chometz -- booth food and utensils used throughout the year [and not koshered for Passover] -- and store it all away in closets or rooms that you will lock or tape shut.  You'll sell this chometz temporarily to a non-Jew.

How to Prepare the Kitchen

Since the kitchen has been used the whole year long for chometz, it's going to need some work to prepare it for Passover use.

Judaica  --> Jewish Holidays and Yom Tov -->  Passover   -->  Seder Plates

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Plastic Passover Seder Plate


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